Festivals are fast becoming the highlight of the British summer,so NHS England has some top tips to help you to make the most of your time without having to worry about sunburnt shoulders or a dodgy tummy.
If you’re off to any event this summer, follow these simple seven survival tips.
• Water - Festivals goers are susceptible to dehydration due to dancing all day and night, sunny weather and alcohol consumption. Dehydration can leave you feeling thirsty, dizzy and tired. You can easily combat these symptoms by ensuring that you drink plenty of water and often, it will also give you more energy to party on! Keep a refillable water bottle on you to help keep yourself hydrated when on the go.
• Heavy drinking - Festival are all about fun and many will be looking forward to enjoying a drink with friends. Drinking large amounts in a short period you can increase your risk of accidents, misjudging risky situations and losing self-control. It’s recommended drinking more slowly, drinking with food and alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks. Drinking plenty of water whilst consuming alcohol will also prevent dehydration, which is what causes many symptoms of a hangover.
• Sun safety - Don’t forget to take a hat, sunglasses and sun cream to keep you safe from the sun, and spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is strongest. Apply sun cream regularly and use at least SPF 15; however, SPF 50 will give you the best protection. But don’t be tempted to leave sun essentials behind if the weather’s looking glum – you can still damage unprotected skin even when it’s cloudy! Staying safe in the sun and drinking plenty of water will also prevent you suffering from heat exhaustion, and in severe cases heat stroke, which can put a strain on your vital organs.
• Hypothermia - Equally, those sunny days can turn into chilly nights, so don’t forget to pack extra layers to keep you warm when out at night. If you’re camping, keep your tent stocked with warm, dry clothing and blankets as your tent alone may not keep you protected from the cold. Also, don’t forget to grab those wellies and a raincoat - we all know it has the habit of raining during festival weekends!
• Clean hands - The chance of picking up a bacterial or viral stomach bug is much higher when around larger numbers of people and using communal facilities. Washing your hands well and regularly with hot soapy water is the most effective way of preventing a stomach bug, but keep anti-bacterial gel on you to avoid being caught out. Take plenty of your own toilet roll and wet wipes to reduce your reliance on communal items.
• Ear plugs - Listening to loud music for any length of time has the potential to damage your hearing, but wearing earplugs while listening to live music can reduce sound levels by between 15-35 decibels. They’re widely available at many live music events and should not spoil your enjoyment of the music. Alternatively most pharmacies stock ear plugs too.
• The medical centre - Find where the medical centre is before you are in a situation in which you need to go. The medical centre is usually centrally located and easily identifiable, however festival stewards will help point you in the right direction. Remember to take enough of any prescription medication you may need, as the medical centre might not be able to supply you with this.
• And finally, make sure you look out for your friends and ensure they are also following these survival tips, and of course - have fun!
For more information about how to stay safe and healthy this summer, visit www.nhs.uk